Saturday, August 25, 2012

Elimination in slam, suit combination QJxx-A8xx

Cover the North and South hands and declare West in SIX clubs on the lead of six of clubs. Given that you win the first with the CK, and that on CQ, South discards a low heart, plan play. This problem is from the 1962 book by Ewart Kempson and Paul Lukacs, "the second book of bridge problems, SINGLE DUMMY PLAYS", a compact collection of 64 test your declarer play hands.

Amazingly, you can cater to any distribution of spades. The solution is to postpone the drawing of the third round (since you want to end up in dummy), play off HAK, DA,DK,Druff, now cross to CA drawing the last trump. Now comes the key move. The two of spades is led. This assures the contract against any distribution and defence. Here, North takes West's queen of spades and leads the ten, West wins and East makes the Ace and the eight on marked finesse.(North can shift to a plain suit but that gives a ruff-discard, disposing of the remaining spade loser). If, instead, North allows west's Queen to win, declarer who still does not know the break, can duck when the 9 of spades appears. If south follows, the spades must be good, If south shows out, North is endplayed. If North shows out on round two of spades, leading up to the closed hand, after going up Ace of spades is simple enough.

Thus, with the elimination complete, you can handle QJxx, A8xx against all breaks. Amazing, is it not? One card combination to add to your mental arsenal.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Meckstroth declares a hand

This hand is from the QF of the Mind Games in Lille where USA lost narrowly to Sweden despite this board. North (Rodwell) opened a precision 2D, South (meckstroth) bid 3S (invitational, actually preemptive invitational at this vul), shutting EW completely out of the auction. Since EW are cold for a VUL game, this rates to win IMPs, but the icing on the cake is when Meckstroth makes his contract.

Visualize the play after the play of the first few tricks. Trump lead to E's Ace, HK, H continued and ruffed. Club to the Ace, and diamond to the Ace. How do you proceed for nine tricks? there is no complete cross ruff, because if you play, d ruff, H ruff, d ruff, how do you come off dummy to ruff your last diamond? West can ruff the first club and play his remaining trump taking out your last dummy entry while dummy's clubs contain a loser.

Meckstroth accurately played to set up clubs and combine the chance of a cross ruff. It went club to East, Diamond tap, H ruff to hand, and a club from hand, and defence is now helpless with the fifth club coming into its own if they ruff in and play their last trump. Well played.

Welcome to Ramesh's BRIDGE BLOG

In these pages, I comment on hands from Bridge Base Online ACBL tourneys. I play in these with a variety of partners with different degrees of skill. I might present a hand or two from my collection of bridge books, every now and then. I am more interested in play and defense than in complex bidding systems, but I do follow the cut and thrust of Vanderbilt and World Championship Vugraph and try to keep abreast of expert practice in the obstructive and constructive bidding system department. I may also feature, newspaper-style, famous hands from important matches that I saw on Vugraph.

NOTE: For JUNE, I am experimenting with adding BBO's Handviewers, which make bridge movies embedded. Just
scroll down beyond the few sampled book covers and you arrive at the blogs that play themselves with the NEXT button. THANKS, BBO!!

About Me

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Bridge expert for 20 years. I started blogging about bridge only in 2009. Chess follower. Problem fan. Studied hundreds of composition themes in two-movers, fairy chess, the former from the Good Companion era to the modern style of virtual play. Big collector of chess and bridge rare books. My two game blogs bridge blog, and my chess problem themes blog chess expo

My alter ego, The Hideous Hog

My alter ego, The Hideous Hog